Bob Robertson (1929-2020)

Hall of Fame broadcaster Bob Robertson, who called Washington State football for more than 50 years, has died at the age of 91.

Washington State said Robertson died Sunday at his home.

Robertson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2004 when he received the Chris Schenkel Award.

Bob Robertson served as the lead broadcaster for Washington State football from 1964-2011 — except for three years between 1969 and 1971 — before moving into an analyst role. He retired midway through the 2018 season.

A fixture in the WSU radio booth, Robertson, in October 2018, announced he was retiring, ending a career that spanned 52 years, 10 United States presidents and 10 Cougars head coaches. He described more than 260 WSU football victories….


“As of this moment, I’ve now asked the athletic department at Washington State University to list me as a retired, former sportscaster for the Cougars,” Robertson said. “It is a matter of getting old is what it is. Everything seems to move a lot faster around me, I move more slowly. I hope to see you soon, I’m not going to go away. I like Washington State people and the school itself too much to do that.”…

Robertson also called Washington State basketball for 23 years, along with Pacific Coast League baseball and professional soccer in Seattle, Tacoma, and Portland. He also broadcast Notre Dame football and basketball on television for two years in the 1950s.

In 1949, he passed up playing baseball in the Pacific Coast League to accept his first radio play-by-play position with the Wenatchee Chiefs.

His voice became a fixture in the region over the next seven decades. In the Tacoma area, where he spent much of his life and career, Robertson was known for his work in minor league baseball.

Bob Robertson-KTAC Sport Report 1990 (2:06)

Known for his traditional sign off, “Always be a good sport, be a good sport all ways,” Robertson brought a simple style to the broadcasts of Cougar football. When he announced his retirement Robertson said, “I’ve enjoyed every minute of it. It’s been great to be with you Cougars at your meetings and get-togethers, and I hope we can do it again and I’m sure we will.”

Robertson was a 12-time Washington state sportscaster of the year and was the first broadcaster west of the Mississippi to be inducted into the Hall’s broadcaster division. He was behind the microphone for 589 Washington State football games.

Author: Jason Remington

Creator, Admin, & Editor of QZVX, former broadcaster at KTOY FM/Tacoma, KVAC/Forks , KDFL/Sumner, KTTX & KWHI FM/Brenham (TX), KONP/Port Angeles, KBAM/Longview, KJUN/Puyallup, KRPM FM/Tacoma, KAMT/Tacoma, KASY/Auburn, KBRD FM/Tacoma, KTAC/Tacoma, KMTT FM/Tacoma, and KOOL FM/Phoenix. -- Airchecks
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15 thoughts on “Bob Robertson (1929-2020)

  1. There actually was a Chris Schenkel award?…..OK I guess…but as far as being the complete sports commentator, he could not hold a candle to Keith Jackson…..I hope there is a similar award bearing Keith’s name!…I mean, football, basketball, baseball, even covering the less than stellar Hydroplane races, no one could top Mr Jackson.

  2. I just found this on the website for the “Tacoma-Pierce County Old Timers Baseball-Softball Association”: It answered my question about KMO-TV:

    “Bob’s radio and television experience is vast, to the say the least. Bob was the sports director for KSTW-TV from 1956-70 (then called KTNT) and then again from 1976-83, and he helped put KMO television on the air. From 1958-68 he was the TV voice for the Seattle Rainiers and for 11 seasons he did Tacoma Giants, and Tacoma Cubs television play-by-play.”

    Their full bio of him there is at

  3. Even Larry King was surprised that Bob Robertson never made it to the networks. He was sports director at KHHO in Tacoma when they first signed on. I think he has pretty much been all over the place.

  4. Not only was he the sports anchor for KTNT-TV 11 back in the 1960s, but I think I read somewhere that he was doing sports in the early 1950s for KMO-TV, the original incarnation of Channel 13, even before that station became KTVW. Can anyone confirm that? If so, wow, did his broadcast career cover a long time in both TV and radio!

  5. Here’s a Bob Robertson KAYO ad from the Ballard News-Tribune, July 2, 1980

    I fondly remember one of his KAYO sportscasts when he had a frog that he couldn’t shake. There was another live mike off on the other side of the studio. Maybe he’d done an interview and forgot to kill the guest mike, I don’t know. In the time I worked at KAYO, there weren’t any “ON AIR” signs or lights until Andy Thompson came on as Chief Engineer and put one in. Anyway, Bob would say a couple of sentences, cut his mike and clear his throat loudly. It sounded like it was across the room. As I type this, I’m laughing. I’ve always wondered whether he taped that show.

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